Sustainability is a vital part of our business which, in the Trade, we talk about all the time. We sometimes forget that our customers might not fully understand what is meant by this and, as it is something that is as important to us as cooking great food and providing good customer service, we have written this article to help explain what Sustainability is, how it is achieved and why it is important for all of us, not just Krispies.
Sustainability means keeping our oceans sustainable whilst still enjoying the fruits of the sea by keeping fish stocks healthy to ensure we can enjoy fish long into the future. Over the last decades overfishing has become a globally recognised problem. When more fish are caught than the fish population can replace through natural reproduction then not only does that put that species of fish under threat it affects the balance of life in the oceans and the well-being of the coastal communities who depend on fishing for their way of life.
To help counteract overfishing and unscrupulous practice there is a global organisation called the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The MSC safeguard fish supplies for our future by recognizing and rewarding sustainable fishing practices where ever in the world they might be by awarding them MSC Certification. This certification can be seen in the form of a blue ‘tick’ logo and can be found on all types of fish and seafood in all retail outlets be they supermarkets, restaurants and of course Fish & Chips shops.
Krispies are very proud to have this MSC certification (you can find the blue ‘tick’ logo on our menu) as only 100 Fish and Chip shops in the UK are privileged enough to have the honor. To be eligible we have to have a paid annual assessment and follow strict rules on buying and storing MSC certified fish 365 days per year.
Part of our role is to maintain what the MSC call the ‘Chain of Custody’. This means that all fish sold with MSC logo displayed must have been caught by an MSC certified trawler, sold by an MSC certified market, distributed by an MSC certified wholesaler and sold by and MSC certified retailer. We can tell by the paperwork that comes with our fish deliveries that the Chair of Custody is intact so all packing and invoicing is rigorously checked before we will accept the fish. Sometimes, and mostly for unavoidable reasons, the Chain of Custody is broken and then we are not allowed to use the blue ‘tick’ logo.
The MSC are always keeping a track of the fisheries, markets, suppliers and retailers to ensure this Chain of Custody is not willfully being broken. Unannounced assessments and checks are regularly carried out and they even perform DNA testing on the fish to ensure it is what it says it is and Krispies is not exception to this having had such a test itself.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to buy MSC certified fish but if we cannot then we will only source our fish from trusted suppliers – fisheries and distributors we have know for a long time and of course from local sources. So even if our menu items do not display the blue ‘tick’ logo you can depend on quality and responsible sourcing.
We believe that sourcing our fish sustainably is part of our responsibility. For us it is not a choice but something we have to do help keep our oceans healthy for many years to come.
Image supplied by Seafish: www.seafish.org